Monday, October 17, 2016

"Taking time to stop and look at our blessings is an amazing thing!"

Helen's Baptism Day

Hi Everybody!!

I hope you all had a great week! My week came with a lot of changes. Good changes though!

So Tuesday Elder Santana was trying to figure out his travel plans (since he was being transferred to a new area while I stay in Itanabu). It was tough because the only bus going to his new area that day left at 11pm and arrived at 3 in the morning. This would of been terrible for everyone. It all got figured out eventually and he left the next morning at 7. Wednesday I was with the Zone Leaders all day because my new companion, Elder Quintana, was not going to get there until 9 PM. It was really cool to learn a lot from 2 great missionaries and see another area in the mission. One cool thing is that we have a new Zone Leader and I am finally not the only American in the zone! WooHoo! Elder Dupaix is way cool and has been out for 20 months so there is lots for me to learn from him. Finally on Wednesday night we went and picked up my new companion. 

Elder Quintana is from Nicaragua. He is in his 23rd month of his mission so he goes home next month. He has now served in every zone in the mission too, which is cool. Immediately the first day I realized that he is a lot different from Elder Santana. The biggest reason is he speaks about ZERO English, haha! I have not even been with him a week and already my Portuguese feels better because I have no choice but to speak Portuguese. It is funny because he learned Portuguese on his mission too. He is fluent now and feels like he has forgotten a lot of his Spanish. We have some members in the ward here who speak Spanish and when they talked with him in Spanish he was really confused. I asked him how he will talk with his family and friends when he returns and he said he has no idea, haha! I wonder if that will happen with me and English?!

With Elder Santana gone, I do NOT feel like a trainee anymore, AT ALL. Because I was already here, I have been showing Elder Quintana everything and who everybody is. It is so weird to have some responsibility again but I love it. Elder Quintana is good. He is a lot different from Santana. He is more relaxed and joking and not even close to as serious as Santana. He sings a lot in our apartment, really loud. It’s awesome and having a new companion is not bad at all, just different. 

First thing we did when Elder Quintara arrived was we went to go see Andre. Remember he is the recent convert who is 12 and the first time he saw me he cried? So, of course, the same thing happened with Quintana!! It was crazy to see the tables turned, haha. I called him out of his room and he came and sat next to me and was sooooo sad but I talked with him and cheered him up. Then all 3 of us played some made up game with a ball he had and had a blast so now he is all good!

Friday night we went to an inactive member's house. We have visited her twice before. She was baptized as a teen but then stopped going and now has a couple of kids and is in her 30s. Her son Patrick is 11 and has been reading a "For Strength of Youth" booklet we gave him. We talked to him for a while and he seems really interested to learn more but he could not meet with us right then so we scheduled for another time. After we talked to his mom. She still remembers a lot about the church. She remembers her baptism pretty well given the fact it was a long time ago. She had a lot of questions about how missions work and why we are serving. I got to share my testimony with her about why I am here. How I am out on a mission for a lot of reasons; for all of you, for my family, to strengthen my faith, for the people of Brasil, but first and foremost for Heavenly Father. I have seen with more clarity than ever before how blessed I am and want to show him how grateful I am. I feel like I owe Him. Taking time to stop and look at our blessings is an amazing thing.

Saturday night the Sisters had a baptism!! We were more involved with this investigator because her best friends are some youth in our ward. So she had come to our ward a lot and we were helping them teach her. One of the young men in our ward got to baptize her and it was really awesome. Baptisms have a special Spirit. 

To answer some of you questions mom:

1. Blisters. My feet are doing good, I guess, haha. Not terrible not great but its just because a lot of walking. 
2. Mosquitos. So I only get attacked at night and yes I have had bites the whole time I’ve been here. I usually wear the spray only during sleep but somehow those little buggers, at least one, somehow finds the one part of my skin that isn’t under blankets and that I missed.
3. Portuguese is great! I kind of answered this already in my letter but I find the best way from me to learn it is by talking. 
4. Right now my favorite scripture is probably all of Ether 12. I just read that in my personal study and it is just a FANTASTIC chapter.

This church is true! I love you all and have a great week!

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

District Meeting with the Sisters and Elder Quintara

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